Discover Altea

Altea, the Costa Blanca’s pearl
The sheer beauty of the little white village on the Mediterranean Sea looks like something from a postcard. It doesn’t come as a surprise that year after year, Altea gets elected among the most beautiful villages in Spain. Narrow cobbled streets and charming squares invite you to leisurely stroll about. The iconic church towers dominate the village skyline and the deep blue shining domes are the silent reminders of a distant Arabian past. Whitewashed facades contrast abruptly with the fuchsia flowers of the distinctive bougainvillea against clear blue skies. An elegant boulevard meanders along Altea’s beautiful pebble beach and both in summer and winter, the atmosphere in its marinas, bars, and restaurants is lively. Because Altea doesn’t depend on summer tourism, restaurants, shops, and businesses are open all year round. Altea is residential, with a good mix of holidaymakers as well as both permanent and semi-permanent residents who come and go for a longer period.  Altea lives all year round, and is pleasant both in winter and summer, adding to the list of reasons for buying a property in Altea.

Altea, Altea La Vella, and Old Altea…
When discussing Altea, Altea La Vella and the old town of Altea, there seems to be a lot of confusion going on, so let’s get the matter straightened. Altea is the village located between Albir and Calpe. It consists of a higher part, the so-called 'Casco Antiguo' in Spanish, which means as much as ‘Old Altea’. Old Altea or ‘the old town’ is, therefore, part of Altea, and refers to the part of the village situated around the church with the blue domes. In the lower part of Altea, near the coast, you will find the main shopping street, the seafront promenade, and the four elegant marinas. 

The origins of the village of Altea, however, are three and a half kilometers further away, between the river Algar and the mountains of the Sierra Bernia. Around the middle ages, this settlement moved closer towards the coastline because of economic interest, and this is still the place where we find Altea nowadays. The original settlement was simply left behind and remained empty until the eighteenth century when the village was repopulated and given its current name 'Altea La Vella'. In Valencia, this means ‘old Altea’, which explains the confusion.  

Nowadays, this tiny, charming village still lies at the foot of the Sierra Bernia., exuding nothing but Spanish atmosphere. Although Altea La Vella it is not a very large town, you have everything you need on a daily basis; from supermarkets to retail stores, a bio shop, pharmacy, hardware store, bank office, newspapers, and hairdressing salon. The various bars and restaurants offer both international and Spanish cuisine and are always bustling.

The Club de Golf Altea golf course is also located in Altea La Vella. This green lung is surrounded by beautiful villas and apartments.  It also explains why the Sierra de Altea is considered to be one of the most valued residential areas in Altea. 

Conclusion; Altea and Altea La Vella are two different villages, located in the same municipality. One village lies at the foot of the Sierra Bernia and the other one is situated on the coast.  Both enjoy the Costa Blanca’s wonderful micro climate. The Mediterranean Sea creates a warm influence, while the mountains prove to be a natural boundary against rain, cold and wind from the inland. Altea and Altea La Vella are rightfully a favorite with foreigners looking for a holiday home on the Costa Blanca.

Unlike many other coastal villages, Altea has the extraordinary benefit of being directly connected with the motorway. From Alicante airport, it’s less than  45 minutes’ drive to reach Altea. Altea La Vella, which is located near the exit of the motorway, is the first village you encounter, and just next to it lies Altea.  For those who have to deal with daily traffic jams in their home country, the smooth connection with their holiday home is true relief. It comes as no surprise that this often turns out to be a decisive argument for choosing Altea, above other, far less accessible coastal towns.

Altea, shoppers’ delight
You can shop until you drop in Altea’s attractive high street, where you find a wide range of shops that offer both famous international brands and Spanish fashion. Village shops seduce with authentic handicrafts and local products, often at very reasonable prices. In the so-called 'Casco Antiguo', Altea’s old town, you are guaranteed to find something unique. The narrow white alleys, with their small and unusual boutiques, are known for their original offer. 

In Altea, most businesses still respect the famous siesta. They close at noon, and open again later in the afternoon until closing time, which is late in the evening.  At noon, most Spanish will have an extended lunch break, followed by a restorative nap. Every store has its own opening hours and there often tends to be a different schedule for summer and winter. In Altea, most shops close approximately between one thirty and two o'clock in the afternoon. They will open again somewhere between four-thirty and six o’clock in the afternoon. Most shops remain open until eight o'clock in the evening and in summer, this may often be up to nine or even ten o'clock in the evening.

Of course, there’s a wide range of supermarkets, both in Altea and Altea La Vella, that cater for your daily shopping needs. Most of them are open all day long and don’t close for siesta, but the smaller, local supermarkets will have a break at lunchtime. A definite bonus is that most large supermarkets are open on Sundays throughout the summer months.

in Altea center; Calle l’Estatut s/n

in Altea center; Calle Costa Blanca s/n – near the marina; Carrer San Francesc 

Más y Más
in Altea center; Av. Jaume I, 32 – near the marina; Calle Sant Pere 46 – in Mascarat; N332 KM km 162

Supermarket Unide
in Altea La Vella next to the Carretera de Callosa

Supermarket Maria (SUMA)
in Altea La Vella at the entrance of the village 

On Tuesdays, the two local markets offer flowers, fruits, and vegetables, as well as clothes, shoes, and handbags. Altea also has its own indoor market, the so-called Mercado Municipal.  This market exists since 1972, is just over four hundred square meters large and has about fifteen different stalls that offer fresh bread, fruit and vegetables, freshly caught fish and quality meat and charcuterie.

Mondays to Saturdays 7h30 - 14h30
Av. L'Alt Rei En Jaume I, nº4.

for flowers, vegetables, and fruit
C/ Filarmónica 

for clothes, shoes, and accessories
C/ Camí de l’Algar

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